Gustav Histrionics Were Irresponsible

Gustav prep was 'responsibility avoidance': Furedi
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Sep 3, 2008 2:48 PM CDT
Marion Peterson drinks a beer while pushing his bike through a flooded neighborhood in Alexandria, La. today.    (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
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(Newser) – The way media and the state reacted to Gustav wasn't responsible behavior, but rather "responsibility avoidance ... motivated by a desire to avoid blame," Frank Furedi writes in Spiked. He says official overreaction diminishes a sense of community and individual resilience, rendering people passive to the whims of politicians who tell them, “You need to be scared,” and “Get your butts moving out of New Orleans right now.”

Louisianans “will discover that their lives have been disrupted far more by the official response to the storm" than by Gustav itself, Furedi says. He wishes natural disasters could be treated as natural, instead of proof for experts of their “existential threat” of climate change, whom he compares to medieval seers who interpreted the meanings of storms.